Alexander Zverev looks to bounce back from the disappointment of his US Open final loss by going deep in Paris. The German was two sets up before falling in five to Dominic Thiem as the Austrian sealed his first grand slam. Zverev opens with a matchup against one of Thiem’s fellow countrymen in Dennis Novak. Zverev will be looking to improve on his career best in Paris of the quarter finals, having made the last 8 in both of the last two years.
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Novak finally broke into the top 100 at the start of the year following a tough slog in qualifying and Challenger tournaments. While much of his best play came on clay courts, it was on the hard courts of Bratislava that he won his last title to push him closer to inside the top 100. Since the tour resumed, he has gone 1-3 including losing his lone clay match to Maximilian Marterer in Kitzbuhel.
Zverev hasn’t played since losing the US Open so should be well rested coming into this one, having skipped Rome. The early struggles he faced at slams in his initial rise seem to have disappeared with the aforementioned final being added to a semi final in Australia earlier in the year. There will still be questions over his stamina and the ability for his body hold up as he was clearly struggling as time went on against Thiem.
Zverev’s time at a slam will surely come and the German believes that just as much. ”I’m 23 years old. I don’t think it’s my last chance. I do believe that I will be a Grand Slam champion at some point.” he said. It is going to remain tough for that slam to be the French Open while Rafael Nadal sticks around but if the conditions do not suit the Spaniard, Zverev should be amongst the top players ready to take advantage. He should ease through this one and the next few rounds but will need to avoid the slow starts that plagued some of his US Open matches.
Prediction – Alexander Zverev in straight sets